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No Religious Arbitration

In late 2003, the Ontario Islamic Institute of Civil Justice announced that it intended to establish a “sharia court” that would offer legally binding arbitration to Muslim families. As a result of this declaration, Canada and the province of Ontario engaged in intensive rounds of debate concerning the highly controversial recognition and application of religious based laws (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) to private and family affairs.

Surrounded by widespread media attention which centered on multiculturalism, Islam and the rights of women and minorities; opponents and proponents of religious arbitration included those from within and outside the Muslim community. Our organization which continued to affirm its commitment to the empowerment of Canadian Muslim women and their families took the lead on establishing a coalition against No Religious arbitration. Composed of over 50 sister organizations, including the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL), METRAC and the YWCA, the No Religious Arbitration movement and CCMW’s work represented an array of complex issues and events. For more information on our involvement, please click on the resources below.

No Religious Arbitration – FAQs (.pdf file, ccmw.com)

Summary of the Marion Boyd Report (.pdf file, Website of the Attorney General)

Arbitration, Religion and Family Law: Private Justice on the Backs of Women (.pdf file, Paper by the National Association of Women and the Law)

The Reception of Muslim Family Law in Western Liberal States (.pdf file, Paper written by Pascale Fournier for CCMW)

No Religious Arbitration Coalition: What Have We Learned (.doc file, Paper by the National Association of Women and the Law)

Related CCMW Press Releases & Letters

One Law For All Ontarians (September 11, 2005)

Initial Response to Release of Marion Boyd’s Report on Religious Arbitration(December 20, 2004)

CCMW Op-Ed – Montreal Gazette  (.pdf file, January 16 2005)

CCMW Open Letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty and Attorney General Michael Bryant (.pdf file, January 2005)

CCMW Letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty Regarding Boyd Report on Religious Arbitration (.pdf file, December 2004)

CCMW Submission to Marion Boyd – Review of the Ontario Arbitration Act and Arbitration Processes Specifically in Matters of Family Law (.pdf file, July 2004)

CCMW Toronto Star Article – The Laws of the Land Must Protect All of Us (.pdf file, June 2004)

Thank You Letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty from No Religious Arbitration Coalition (.pdf file, September 2005)

Declaration on Religious Arbitration in Family Law (.pdf file, June 2005)

Action Alert, Sample Letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty Regarding the Arbitration Act (.pdf file, May 2005)